Saturday, April 23, 2011

Several Prominent Amateurs Silent Keys

Four prominent hams became Silent Keys in late March and early April. 

On March 27, Paul Baran, W3KAS, died from complications of lung cancer, according to the ARRL Letter. Baran was one of the fathers of the internet and of packet radio. He came up with the idea of packet switching, in which data to be transmitted is broken up into small packages, sent over sometimes varying routes and reassembled at its destination.

The following day, the ARRL Letter reports, Mike Koss, W9SU, owner of Industrial Communications Engineers (ICE), passed away suddenly, after collapsing on his workshop floor. ICE, well-known among hams as a manufacturer of line filters, surge protectors and more, temporarily suspended taking new orders while it reorganized the business in light of Koss's passing.

Grammy-winning recording engineer Roger Nichols, KE4BDA, became a Silent Key on April 9, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. According to the ARRL Letter, Nichols was 66. He was best known for his work with Steely Dan and was honored with three Grammy awards.

Leo Meyerson, W0GFQ (SK)
Courtesy QCWA

Finally, on April 13, just a few weeks after celebrating his 100th birthday, ham radio legend Leo Meyerson, W0GFQ (ex-W9GFQ), also became a Silent Key. Meyerson founded and ran World Radio Laboratories in Council Bluffs, Iowa, producing the "Globe" line of transmitters that were very popular among hams in the mid-20th century. CQ columnist Joe Eisenberg, K0NEB, was a family friend of Meyerson's. He will share some reflections on the man who was also his personal ham radio mentor in his July "Kit-Building" column.